In my last post, I commented on making changes to my social media and news input. Near the end of January, I had read somewhere about someone trying a 30-day social media detox. I’ll have to find the article for you, dear reader. Anyways, the writer had struggled at first with muscle memory and the habit of reaching for his phone constantly. However, he was able to reclaim some productivity, and when he plugged back in, he utilized those media resources in a leaner fashion, as he had stripped himself of his dependence on it.
Intrigued, I started to pay attention to myself and those around me, and how often they looked at their phones. It was disturbing how much I actually picked up my phone just to scroll for a bit, close the Facebook app, open Twitter and look around, then head to Reddit. Then, something would strike my interest in any of those feeds, and I’d go on a tangent, reading about whatever had struck my fancy. For several hours a day. And if I do it, I know others do…much more than I do. It’s scary how glued we are to getting notifications.
I didn’t want to do a detox, where I go back to Facebook after just 30 days. I felt that was just enticing me to jump back into the pool right after toweling off to dry. I didn’t want to cancel my accounts either, because eventually I’m going to need them to develop a platform and sell books. However, I certainly didn’t need the news, at least not at the quantity I was consuming it. So I removed all the news and social media apps from my phone on February 1st (I wrote my last post in Word in late January, it was a reallllllly delayed publish). I tried it out.
I felt lost. I kept picking up my phone, then just putting it down. I tried a few games, got bored, and put the phone away. For the first couple weeks of February, I felt lost. Not much held my interest, so I just worked harder at my job out of boredom.
Wait a second…
Yeah, that’s right. I bored myself into productivity. How jacked up is that? So, I decided to apply this energy to writing, as well. Lo and behold, guess what happened… yeah, I was so bored with all that free time, I actually got shit done. I made progress, REAL progress. I outlined, fleshed out a ton of worldbuilding, put in nearly 10k words in the last several days…
I don’t miss Facebook at all. I do hope on every other night or so just to see if I missed any messages or important notifications. Nope, nothing I would have needed immediately.
It is weird. For example, I have no idea what is going on in Washington (and yes, I may have been able to say that before the social media removal…har har). Besides the weather, I have no idea what’s going on in my state. I do think it’s important to be world-aware, but right now, after stagnating for so long in writing, I feel I can “hermit” it up a bit and do what I got to do to succeed. I’m pretty sure all the drama will still be there, but I’m busy doing my stuff now.
So, for all three of you that visit, I encourage you to try it out. Go for a day, maybe a week, or just turn it all off indefinitely and see what happens. I know my mood is better, and when combined with all this writing fun, well…who needs Facebook.
Back to writing. See you next time.